Euston HS2 plans ‘should be scrapped’

Artist's impression issued by HS2 of the proposed HS2 station at Euston.Image copyright
Grimshaw Architects/PA

Image caption

Ministers have said the redevelopment of Euston would help regenerate the area

Plans to redevelop London Euston as part of the high-speed railway line HS2 should be scrapped, an MP has said.

HS2 Ltd, the company behind the rail link from London to northern England, last week said the redevelopment of the station would finish in 2033 – seven years later than planned.

Sir Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, said those living nearby faced “decades of blight” from construction.

But the HS2 minister said the area would benefit from the redevelopment.

The first phase of HS2 will be between London and Birmingham and will be followed by a V-shaped section to Manchester and Leeds.

‘All the pain’

Euston is set to gain six new platforms and an additional concourse.

In a change to plans submitted two years ago, HS2 Ltd has proposed that the construction of five further platforms within the existing station should be delayed.

They would be ready for phase two of HS2 which will run from the capital to Leeds and Manchester in 2033.

HS2 Ltd said the changes meant the construction would be less intense.

But speaking to the Commons on Tuesday, Sir Keir rejected that: “We have had plans, amended plans and further amended plans for Euston.

“The only sensible plan is to abandon the project altogether.

“This plan, far from being an improvement on the other plans, is the worst of the lot and leaves my constituents with all of the pain and none of the gain.

“And I focus here particularly on the phased approach – it offers and sets up decades of blight with no assurance about when the project as a whole will be finished.”

Image copyright
Getty Images

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HS2 minister Robert Goodwill said the transport secretary was “very keen to see the resurrection of the Euston Arch”

HS2 Minister Robert Goodwill said Euston needed to experience the same regeneration as King’s Cross-St Pancras, also in north London.

He said: “Our Euston proposal is fully compatible with the redevelopment of the remaining Network Rail station and our proposals have been developed with Network Rail and (Transport for London).”

Euston Arch

Replying to Sir Keir, Mr Goodwill said disruption for commuters also needed to be considered alongside disruption faced by residents.

He said reports suggesting there would be reductions in platform space were “not correct”.

Mr Goodwill also said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin was “very keen to see the resurrection of the Euston Arch”.

Euston Arch, which was built in the 1830s, stood at the front of the station until it was demolished in 1962 when the station was rebuilt.

He said: “We think we know where the bits are, and indeed the Euston Arch Trust aims to reform the arch and it’s for them to bring this forward through a local planning application, but we have a location in the new Euston Square Gardens for the arch to come forward.”

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